After a trip to Egypt last year, I developed a deep love for falafel, transforming my interest into a full-blown obsession. Living in NYC, a melting pot of global flavors, I immediately started researching the best falafel spots the next day. Over the past 12 months, I’ve tirelessly searched for the city’s finest, and now, whether you’re a local or a visitor with a passion for new foods, I’m here to share my top picks. Get ready to crave some falafel!
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Best Falafel in NYC
Table of Contents: Best New York City Falafel
Table of Contents: NYC Falafel Spots
Mamoun’s Falafel was founded in 1971, long before Middle Eastern food carts lined Manhattan’s streets. Back then, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant was one-of-a-kind and helped introduce this popular dish to America. Located between the Comedy Cellar and Cafe Reggio, Mamoun’s Falafel is a part of New York City’s history, too.
In fact, it’s the oldest falafel restaurant in NYC. Mamoun’s is unique in that it primarily uses parsley, which gives the falafel a unique green color. Their signature sandwiches are some of the most popular cheap eats in New York City. For $6.50, New Yorkers can order the classic, which comes with falafel, hummus, lettuce, tomato, onions, and tahini sauce wrapped in a pita bread pocket.
Another reason Mamoun’s is one of the best spots for falafel in NYC is thanks to their late-night hours.
Located on the Upper East Side, Tamam is the place to be if you’re searching for a quick and affordable vegan meal. It also doesn’t hurt that they sell some of the best falafel in NYC. The quality of the ingredients used at Tamam are consistently fresh and always hit the spot.
At Tamam the menu is simple and straightforward. You can choose between a pita, salad, or a plate that has cauliflower, eggplant, or falafel on it. Regardless of what you order at this NYC falafel shop just know that the portions are generous and you’ll be leaving extremely full and satisfied. The pita sandwiches are loaded with toppings and the falafel has a smooth interior with a crunchy exterior. Each bite is exploding with flavor and the pickled veggies add a refreshing crunch.
Oasis in Williamsburg is the go-to place for those seeking both quality and affordability. Renowned for serving some of the best falafel in NYC, it also stands out for its budget-friendly offerings. The menu boasts a variety of flavorful options, with portions generous enough to keep you satisfied for hours. Whether you prefer falafel in a pita or on a plate, the made-to-order dishes ensure freshness every time.
One of the best places to get falafel in NYC is at Taim, where there are countless customizing possibilities. You can choose between a pita or a bowl, which you can then stuff to your heart’s content. And don’t worry, folks—there is no space for cutting corners here!
Pitas are overflowing, and bowls are completely full. In addition to the traditional falafel balls and eggplant frequently seen at other restaurants, Taim is one of the few falafel shops in NYC that also offers meat alternatives. Those who can’t resist meat have the option of meatballs or chicken shawarma.
This Mediterranean restaurant has all the fixing you’d want for a falafel sandwich and don’t even get me started on the sides. Between the seasoned pita with tzatziki and the house fries, you’ll find yourself in a pickle trying to pick just one.
Originally established in the East Village in 2004, Hummus Place is now located on the Upper West Side. This New York City falafel shop, which initially only offered three hummus dishes, has since grown and is now regarded as one of the best falafel restaurants in NYC.
The menu consists of a variety of fresh and healthy options. In fact, the majority of the menu is gluten-free and vegan. A clear standout is the shakshuka — the tanginess and subtle spice go together flawlessly.
But since this post is about the best falafel in NYC, I highly recommend ordering the falafel sandwich. Served with more fries than you’ll ever need (is that even possible?) the meal is both filling and extremely satisfying. The fresh made hummus is some of the best in the city and shouldn’t be glossed over.
Established in 2013, Ziyad Hermez brought his love for Lebanese street food to New York City, focusing on manousheh—Lebanese flatbreads with a crispy exterior, chewy interior, and topped with oil and za’atar. Don’t miss out on trying this Lebanese specialty when you visit!
Everything, from the manousheh to other dishes, is freshly baked in-house, using ingredients imported from Lebanon. Though I’d love to keep this NYC falafel spot a secret, the vibrant atmosphere, friendly staff, and lively Lebanese music make it irresistible. With quick service and fantastic food, it’s a must-visit for falafel enthusiasts.
I recommend ordering the cocktail manousheh (half za’atar & half jibneh) as well as the falafel manousheh. I can’t decide which is better so you’ll have to try both and decide for yourself!
With a catchy name like “Operation Falafel,” it’s no wonder it’s a top contender for the best falafel spots in NYC. Originally from Dubai, this 100% halal eatery has brought its flavorful dishes to the Big Apple. The fresh, pillowy pita bread and the unique stuffed falafel, filled with sautéed onions, sumac, and a hint of chili, are highlights.
The space itself has a cool contemporary vibe full of fun wall art and stenciled phrases on the walls. Everything is made in house at this NYC falafel spot and the team behind the machine is quick, efficient and extremely knowledgable.
If you’re anything like me and struggle picking just one item, I suggest ordering the “mix your small pita pair” where you are given the choice of two pita sandwiches for around $12! Also do yourself a favor and order a side of the spicy hummus, it’s some of the best in the game.
Omar’s Mediterranean Cuisine
When one door closes, another one opens. This couldn’t be more true than at Omar’s Mediterranean Cuisine, a restaurant that came to fruition after an Egyptian curtain store failed. Owner Omar Abouzaid transformed the store into a restaurant, serving his childhood favorites from Egypt. This includes tender schwarma, kabob, and the best falafel in NYC.
Slightly crunchy on the outside and rich in flavor on the inside, the falafel has a way of lingering in your mind, striking you with a craving at random hours of the day. Luckily Omar’s Mediterranean Cuisine has four locations ready to serve you the best falafel in NYC. And before you leave don’t forget to order the baklava, it’s the perfect sweet-treat after your meal.
Sido Falafel & More
If you happen to be strolling around the Upper West Side and craving a quick bite, I highly recommend checking out Sido Falafel & More. The service is friendly and efficient, complemented by the consistently high-quality offerings that never fail to impress. Serving some of the best falafel in NYC, you can walk away feeling stuffed with a falafel sandwich that only cost you $8!
Or you can take it up a notch and order the falafel platter which comes with tabouli salad and baba ghannouj for less than $15. This NYC falafel shop may be small in size but the flavor each dish packs makes up for any doubts a naysayer might have. It’s the perfect hole-in-the-wall spot to grab some of the best falafel in New York City.
Shoo Shoo is a charming Mediterranean restaurant serving a Tel Aviv inspired menu with incredible dips. Opened in 2018 the restaurant offers organic grass-fed fare and some of the best falafel in NYC. The menu consists of shareable plates designed to foster a communal dining experience, encouraging folks to order multiple dishes.
Local’s Tip: To the side of the restaurant you’ll notice a passageway headed towards the basement of Shoo Shoo. This is actually a speakeasy! Make sure to check it out after eating some of the best falafel in NYC.
Zooba, a Cairo-based chain now in NYC, offers authentic and affordable Egyptian food served quickly. Their falafel is uniquely flat but packed with delicious seasoning. Self-ordering kiosks make it easy to explore the menu. The colorful atmosphere, filled with tempting posters, adds to the experience. Don’t miss their standout dish, Koshari—an Egyptian delight featuring fried rice, vermicelli, lentils, zesty tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, chickpeas, and crispy fried onions. It’s a must-try!
Nish Nush is one of the best places in NYC to get falafel for a handful of reasons. The staff, the food and the laid-back environment all get a 10 out of 10 rating for those searching for delicious vegetarian food. Ordering the falafel trio platter is non-negotiable.
The platter comes with three different types of falafel, salad, hummus and a bunch of veggies. This NYC falafel spot is kosher and the portions are more than filling. The variety of flavors and textures offered by each item on the platter makes for an enjoyable meal. Plus there is enough food for two people to share so bring your friends.
Quick Recap of the Best Falafel in NYC
- Hummus Place
- Mamoun’s Falafel
- Nish Nush
- Shoo Shoo
- Sido Falafel & More
- Manousheh Bleecker
- Omar’s Mediterranean Cuisine
- Operation: Falafel
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Best Falafel in NYC (Helpful Map)
And there you have it, our list of the best falafel in NYC. As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed anything. Cheers!